Archive For The “The Real Mann Way” Category
It’s no secret that our relationships change over time. It’s also no secret that we allow the events of life to reshape who we are, and how we feel about the important relationships in our lives. What if I told you, “The Old Can Be The New.”
Back in the day which actually dates back over 19 years, my wife and I were newly married. And what a time is was! We were purely focused on putting each other first, and focused on doing things the other loved…this helped each other feel more loved by each other person. The coolest part was that they were little things like being considerate, cross-referencing time for events, leaving little notes, preparing dinner together, or just taking long walks.
I still remember how excited I was to hear her voice during some part of the day, or sneaking away to share lunch together. Well you asked why I would be writing about this particular topic. It’s because life a took turn on us called house, kids, jobs, and all of the responsibilities that come with it. And as a result of that – we went from first to last.
After many years of this we began to look at each other differently, and in some cases the trust was questioned on both sides. We were just so focused on the things we were doing for others, that we forgot to do things for each other. And of course that’s when the finger pointing of why don’t you do this anymore started? We each of course came up with our lame excuses, and were looking at each other rather than ourselves. And after this had gone on for a while, that’s when it hit me.
Why can’t the old be the new? We actually started talking about what we loved most about our marriage during our early years together. And the common theme was that we were focused on doing what we knew the other person loved. That decision helped the other feel loved and first to the other person. After all we are preparing our children to get the heck out of the house at some point, and those years we spend solely focused on them makes us strangers after they’re gone.
The exercise itself was simple. Take a look at those pictures where you’re wrapped around each other, and your smiles are from ear-to-ear. And then don’t just think about what you were doing at the time, but think about how happy you were to have someone you cared about so much sharing your personal space. That same environment can be recreated again, and it is as simple as making the decision to do so. Now of course this only works if you’re not close to killing each other, or your relationship is so far gone that the vary sight of your presence sickens the other person and makes them want to puke.
The true moral to the story is that happiness lays in those smiles from the past that can easily drive your future together. Life happens regardless of you or me, but we don’t have to allow our destiny’s to just happen…we can actually stir the wheel to that happiness. So let your old be your new, and bring back the things that put the smiles on your faces in those pictures of of the past.
One of the many things I like about my circle of five is the trust we’ve built for each other over the years. As a result of that trust we can have real conversations about life, love, happiness, leadership, disappointment, and just people and events overall. It’s also nice to clarify one’s thinking with someone who may share a similar point of view, or one that is vastly different from yours.
One of the best thing I get from them is the strong sense of accountability we share for each other. Who better to share with you that your on the right path on something…or that you’re just completely full of shit in your thinking. Since most people choose to only build their circle of five with others like themselves, they never get to truly enjoy the value of a different perspective. Instead they get to revel in the fact of getting their thinking backed by someone who only shares the same viewpoint.
Again, I’m happy to say that my circle of five only share foundations for the love of our families, a passion for succeeding and leadership, how we treat our bodies, and how we communicate. On the other hand we do not share religious views nor the same faith, we are all from different upbringing and cultures, and none of us do anything similar to the others. And other than knowing of each other other only a few of them have ever met. So you can believe me when I say…they do hold me accountable!
I have loved that my circle of five has for the most part stayed in tact after all of these years. But I am smart enough to know that I’ll loose one or two of them along the way at some point. Whether it is due to death or the relationship has simply run it’s course – it will happen. Not that I’m interviewing or on-the-lookout for replacements, one has to beware that an opening will exist on day for me or them. Here’s the $1 million dollar question, do you have a circle of five you can count on, and how well do you take care of them?
My conversations with each of them is anything from soup to nuts unless there is a specific problem or situation that needs to be addressed. What I like most about the conversations is the sheer honesty during them. We hold nothing back, nor do we feel there is need to soften a blow when it needs to be taken. Those kind of friendships are worth their weight in gold, and worth every penny of the investment.
With the American family slowly disintegrating more and more through the increasing use of technology, I have to admit I thought I had seen it all. One of the things I truly enjoyed growing up and still share with my family today, is sharing dinners together. It is not only a time to enjoy the sharing of good home cooked meal, it’s also a time for getting caught up and sharing our experiences of the day.
We now shop online instead of going to a department store. We buy groceries and have them delivered. We indulge in crazy diets instead of exercising. We play video games virtually instead of traveling to an arcade. I think you get my point! We have become a world of replacing activity with a few simple key strokes to do what needs to get done.
Like many people I too am one to enjoy the convenience of a fast food meal when time is of the essence. However, I am more than willing to conduct my business through the drive-thru, or sit down and enjoy sharing that meal with one or all of my family. We as a family wanted to make sure if were going to eat the food we would still share a sense of family while doing so. That a least makes the decision to do so work for us.
But then I saw the commercial where you can actually have the fast food delivered to your home. All I could think about was the more inactivity it causes for those who take advantage of it! At least a college student would have to go through the actions of walking to the restaurant or to their car to get there. A family would have to at least formulate a plan to get the family together to make the trek to the restaurant. The boy and girlfriend would at least have to get out of their dorm room or apartment to walk or travel there.
Now all one has to do is pick up their mobile device to order delivery on it, and take all the physical activity out of the process. What are we becoming…noting more than the laziest generation in all societies. The fast food industry is a multi-trillion dollar industry, and of course the more you serve the more you make. Even though sit down restaurants still do well, the invention of the drive-thru revolutionized the industry, because you could service people on the go. With home delivery – now people don’t even have to go.
Even though I’ll never and I mean never have fast food delivered to my home, for the simple fact I enjoy sharing meal time with my family. I could not see that replacing the joy I get out of preparing meals in our home. I am now waiting for the commercial where they actually come to your home and wipe your butt after taking a poop. Maybe the person that delivers the fast food to my home could spare a few extra minutes for a better tip to perform that duty for me!
I’ve often wondered why most people find it easier to keep the commitments they make to others easier than the ones they make to themselves. The New Year’s Resolutions we make are a good example of that behavior. Did you know that most resolutions are broken or given up on right about this time of year? Yes, three to four weeks is all it takes to stop working out, give up on the dieting and weight loss, and likely most if not all that one has committed to change.
Unlike others I consider myself to be very disciplined, and when I commit to something…I am going tot find a way to get it done. Here are a listing of my 2019 goals and WHY:
Be a much better listener – If you truly hear what the other person is saying I provide them the honor and respect they deserve in our conversations.
Be aware of my tone – We are habitual creatures and we some times engage in mouth long before we engage in brain. So our responses are often conditioned without us even knowing it. Unfortunately sometimes others responses are initiated by those conditional tones and responses.
Work to understand the kids better – They are not teenagers, but the young adults we raised them to be. So I must treat them as such, and not like they are still in need of strong direction, but strong coaching instead.
Knock it out at work – They brought me a aboard for a reason. Work to meet if not exceed those expectations on every project.
Reduce if not eliminate my alcohol consumption – I am type-2 diabetic and I don’t need the empty calories, not to mention it thwarts my workout efforts.
Be in the best physical shape possible – You only get one body, treat it well, and it will take good care of you in return.
Find and outlet to relax more – The job is only meant to do during work hours, so I now leave it where it belongs. Writing Real Mann has become an effective way for me to relax.
Give my wife more space – Her individual growth is equally important as our collective growth.
Have a better relationship with one my wife’s brothers – Our differences could add value to each others lives…so why not.
How successful have you been in keeping the commitments you’ve made to yourself in the new year? If you’ve slacked off and not kept your commitment to self, revisit those goals or resolutions and start at square one. But this time don’t stop!
While traveling home during mid December, I was enjoying yet another conversation with my wife on the commute home from work. I was approaching another green light, and the traffic was flowing smoothly. Regardless of the speed limit I like to keep a nice distance between myself and the car in front of me, because you just never know what the car in front of them is going to do. Which leaves me plenty of time for breaking if ever needed!
Well guest what? The car in front of me was being piloted by a senior citizen who confused his brake for the gas pedal. Even though I had allowed enough braking room, I had turned my head for what felt like 2-3 seconds – and WHAM I had rear ended him. As I remember the situation in my own car, my airbag deployed, and boy was I thankful that my seat-belt locked and held me in place. That action caused the airbag to barely graze my face, but still save me from any injury from the accident itself. And of course that car in turn hit the car in front of them, and yes…there was a three car accident on the street. The hardest part was my wife was on the phone with me when the accident happened, and scared to death not quite knowing if I was okay or not! Did I mention the car was totaled…but that’s a blog for another time.
As we all exited our cars to exchange information, the cars around us were rudely honking their horns as if that somehow was going to magically lift our cars out of the traffic flow. We did eventually move our cars to a parking lot across the street to finish the process. The insurance process is never easy, but I have to admit I have to give Nationwide some kudos for how easy they made the process for me.
After it all wrapped-up, it caused me to really do some thinking. Now I don’t consider being in a accident going 40 miles per-hour to be a near death experience, but it did cause me to reevaluate some things. It taught me to really appreciate the people and some things in my life. It caused me to focus on setting some goals with my wife and children, and not New Year’s resolutions that would likely be broken. As much as I’d like to go back to that moment and not turn my head for those 2-3 seconds, I am really happy that it gave me the chance to become more aware, and to again acknowledge some of the most important people and things in my life. What will your wake-up call be?
With one fully out the of the house, two preparing to transition to college, and the last one being 8…you’d think we’d be looking forward to becoming empty nesters. Instead it is causing us to really look back at when they were small, and us measuring the work we’ve put in to help them grow into the adults they’ve become and are becoming.
We are very excited for and about all of children, as well as the mark and impact they may make in this society. But when you go back to the beginning it all centered around the work we did together. Each child required a different level of investment from the two of us. We knew that rearing a boy would be different than a girl, and also that times change – so each of them required a little something different from us as the times changed.
When our eight year old slipped into bed with us the other night and drifted back out quickly. I found myself just starring at him, and being thankful for this little miracle from God. That moment also took me back to all of the times our other children had done the same thing. As much as we fought it over the years, that closeness and bond built with them showed us just how close we really are them and them to us.
Little things like that from the beginning have helped us stay close to our children, and them close to us. Believe it or not, we still enjoy sharing dinner together about six times per-week with no forms of technology present. That of course is when the travel and sports schedule allows it. The best part is that they still look forward to sharing that time with us and their grandparents. We are so happy that we’ve gotten to embrace the little with them…and after all maybe being an empty nester is not all it is cracked up to be. Enjoy the little things!
Don’t you find it interesting how long you’ll stay in a relationship – even if it is toxic? It kind of makes you wonder what hold or power this person has over you, or better yet what gap in your life allows them to keep that control. And then you find yourself over and over again doing and agreeing to things that you know are wrong. The wake-up call generally comes when the last part of yourself is given to the relationship…and nothing is given in return.
The strength to see that you’re being manipulated is often lost in your need to fulfill something missing in your own life. However the manipulator can clearly see the hole in your game, and uses that against you to get what they want out of you. The sad part is, if you were to look at the balance of giving – I bet it’s around you giving 90-95%, and you’re stuck with getting about 5-10% in return. Now I’m no math major, but that does not seem to be equal to me on any level.
Here’s a little more information to hopefully help you see the foolishness of maintaining that toxic relationship. Your so called friend knows you suffer from the, “Should Have, Could Have, Would Have blues.” That is point when you find yourself not giving enough because they keep asking for more. And instead of you finding the strength to say no…you justify a way to actually give more…and say I Should Have, Could Have, or Would have given more.
This year rid yourself of all that is toxic, and surround yourself with people who value you and what you give. But first and foremost partner yourself with people who will give back to you.
Happy New Year, and I hope that God Blesses you and yours throughout it!
First and foremost Happy New Year! We all know that this is the time of year when most people are starting to put their resolutions together for the upcoming year. They include health, jobs, relationships, weight and an array of other topics. The question is…how many of them really stick or are even followed long enough to have the impact they should? Which translates into how many of them fail, or better yet you fail them.
Making resolutions alone are tricky business, but keeping and fulfilling them is even more tricky. If you are trying to improve your health, but you keep doing the same stupid things that got you there in first place – how much impact do you really expect to make? So you give up and quit, and guess what – you’re right where you started, or you’re worse of then you were before. You would think that one would be smart enough to realize it took time to be where you are, so it going to take some time to get where you want to go. After all small steps get you to the same destination as running there.
As we all know the list of resolutions people create are virtually endless, and the list of failed ones are just as long. This year why not take a different approach to making those resolutions. Instead of placing the hardest things to change at the top of the list, why not put the easiest at the top. This will provide you with some levels of success as you approach the more difficult ones. That way you’re running the race downhill rather than uphill.
So come into 2019 with the right mindset on your resolutions and it will be a year of success, and not up giving shortly after you’ve started.